I'm delighted to continue working at TBS for my second year! I love visiting museums, reading, baking gluten-free treats, and practicing yoga. Before joining the faculty at TBS, I graduated from Smith College, where I studied museum education.
In teaching, I believe that questions are the foundation of meaningful learning, and I strive to empower students to find their own answers with guidance and support. My goal is to create a classroom community that inspires exploration of ideas, fosters deep relationships, and values the perspectives and experiences of each individual.
My educational philosophy is that communication and accessibility are the key to successful learning. My background is largely in writing education. I recently earned my MFA in fiction writing and have spent time teaching writing at the college level and for the past two summers I have served as the Creative Writing Arts Mentor at URJ’s 6 Points Creative Arts Academy, teaching creative writing to campers between the ages of eight and seventeen. This past year I had the pleasure of teaching first and second grade at TBS and I am looking forward to teaching 5th grade this coming year and sharing my passion for Judaism and writing with my students. Throughout the years I have always found myself returning to Jewish Education and I could not be happier to find myself working as part of the TBS community.
I always felt that the best educators I had were the ones who were continuously learning and growing. I strive to follow their path and learn from my colleagues and students every day. I believe that building a rapport with each child allows an educator to help that child access the curriculum in a way that is meaningful to them. Each year, I take the time to get to know each child personally - their backgrounds, theirs interests, and their families. This helps me to bring highlight pieces of the curriculum for each child, where he/she may connect most to Judaism. Working at Temple Beth Shalom provides me the opportunity to be a part of a team that values the fostering of connections between children through our shared history and values, and to build on those relationships each year so they can continue to develop.
I joined the Mayim family in September 2016, and am thrilled to continue learning from this amazing group of educators and professionals on a daily basis. I am originally from Stonybrook, NY and come with experiences as a full time public school teacher, Hebrew school teacher, and youth group director. I also spent five summers working as the Waterfront Director at Eisner Camp. I live with my husband, Ben, in Northborough and enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, and swimming!
As an educator at TBS I am committed to creating an environment that welcomes each individual child with warmth, joy and a feeling of safety and acceptance. I provide structure, I encourage an interest in learning and I always look for ways to support each child in feeling successful, in a surrounding that meets all needs. I work tirelessly to connect with parents and sometimes with school so all are on the same plan for success. Family engagement and communication is essential in creating a home away from home in Mayim Tamid Shanah Alef.
During the year we will foster a sense of a family like, tight community, respect for each other and respect for all that’s around us, and we will focus on ways we can contribute to our world. Raised in Israel, I am passionate about sharing experiences and memories from my upbringing, and I find myself using content I remember enjoying as a child. I grew up on Kibbutz Ginnosar, right on Lake Kinneret. The Jewish education I received was centered on love for the land of Israel, the history of the people, and had a strong focus on celebrating the holidays and the traditions that kept Judaism alive all around the world for all these years.
I had gained incredible experience working with children at the Kibbutz, as well as teaching young women during my service at the Israeli Army, so when I arrived to the US over 20 years ago, I began working with children in a Children’s Center in Cambridge and then in Foxboro. My college courses focused on Child Psychology and Child development and added to my passion in continuing working with children at TBS. Here I found a warm community, that is open and inclusive. I feel fortunate to have been a part of developing and delivering the Mayim Education for KG/1st Grade, Kindergarten Enrichment on Fridays , Hebrew learning and Mayim Tamid.
As a young girl, I loved my summer experiences at Camps Yavneh and Ramah. Being Jewish has always been an integral part of my life. My parents and their extended families were all in Jewish education. Our house was filled with Yiddiskeit; music, books and art and my passion for continuing to learn more about Judaism thrived. I went to the Prozdor, which was the high school program at the Hebrew College in Brookline and loved both the social and academic atmosphere there. It was there that I became more interested in learning about the Holocaust.
I then attended UMASS Amherst where I received my B.A., and was privileged to learn more about the Holocaust with the world renowned Holocaust professor, David Wyman. I then went to Wheelock College where I received my Master’s Degree in Education.
Combining my background in education with my passion for Judaism and the Holocaust, I have found a home at TBS where I get to teach these important and meaningful subjects every day. Watching B’nei Mitzvah students become excited on their journeys towards Jewish adulthood, seeing the excitement on students’ faces when they learn new Hebrew letters and teaching the Holocaust and Human Behavior Class reinforces for me that I am right where I am meant to be doing what I love most.
I currently live in Acton with my husband Mark and our dog Ruby. We have a son, Ben who is currently following his dreams and we are very proud of him!
As a native Israeli I joined the IDF when I was 18. I served in the intelligence branch and then earned a certificate in accounting.
Six years after leaving the IDF, my husband and I, and our two boys, Nir and Lior moved to California. It was at that time that I discovered within me a passion for working with and teaching children. I then earned a certificate in child development and I became a pre-school teacher. After nine years and one more child, our daughter Tal, we moved to Massachusetts where I then put my skills as a teacher to work in Jewish education.
I joined the TBS "family" eighteen years ago, and it has been the best career choice for me. Teaching Hebrew, becoming a Mayim JLG, tutoring for bar/bat mitzvah.
I live in Newton with my husband Sasson, and our dog Uzi.
I am passionate about instilling a love of learning and a love of Judaism in the children with whom I have the honor to work. I grew up in Fairfax Virginia, received a BA in Education, Economics, and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, and am currently working on my Master of Arts in Teaching at Brandeis. I plan to use this education as well as my experience working with children in both classrooms and experiential settings to create engaging learning experiences for my students. I am excited to work as a JLG to build relationships with my students, create community in and out of the classroom, and learn together. I’m looking forward to another wonderful year at TBS!
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Temple Beth Shalom's Teen Learning Program
Rabbi Todd Markley
Rabbi Todd Markley joined Temple Beth Shalom in the summer of 2006 as our first Assistant Rabbi and now serves our community as a Senior Rabbi. In May of 2006 he completed his studies at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, receiving a Master of Arts in Jewish Education in addition to his rabbinical ordination. A native of Connecticut, Rabbi Markley was an active youth leader in the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) before attending Tufts University where he studied Psychology and Judaic Studies. He has outstanding teaching skills and has worked with students of all ages. He also has extensive experience in Jewish youth work and Jewish camping, regularly continuing to serve on the faculties of the Union for Reform Judaism's Crane Lake and Eisner Camps.
Rabbi Markley shares in the spiritual leadership of Temple Beth Shalom by participating in worship, by officiating at life cycle events, and through his pastoral presence with our families. While he serves as rabbi to all segments of our congregation, he has played key roles in the transformation of our youth programs for students in grades 6-12, helping to make their learning more experiential by including retreats at camp and travel opportunities, in addition to our many newly create options for teens to engage in Jewish life. He is now focusing on our Kindergarten-5th grade programs as the leader of our Partnership in Experiential Learning with Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Brandeis University's department of Innovations in Jewish Education. He is working closely with all of our education professionals to oversee the learning programs from our youngest students through our teens and adults as well. So too, Rabbi Markley is engaged in a number of efforts to deepen and enrich the connections among our synagogue members, fostering stronger and more meaningful relationships within our temple community. Rabbi Markley is proud to serve on an alumni advisory council to the President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and on the board of the Rashi School as well.
Rabbi Markley is married to Michele, a native of Lexington, who works as a third and fourth grade special education teacher in Belmont. Together they are blessed to be raising their daughter, Mia and their son Adam.
Rabbi Jay Perlman
Rabbi Jay Perlman is a Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom. Since his arrival in Needham in the summer of 2003, Rabbi Perlman has been dedicated to nurturing a warm, vibrant, spiritually meaningful community. He is proud to share in this sacred service with many outstanding clergy, professional, and lay leaders.
Rabbi Perlman is active in both the Needham and the Greater Boston Jewish community. He is an active member of the Needham Clergy Association, including having recently served as president. He currently serves on the New England Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League. He frequently dedicates two weeks during summer to serve on the faculty at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Camp Eisner. Rabbi Perlman has served as a rabbinic mentor for both the Hebrew College Rabbinic Program and the rabbinical school at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is a regular teacher for the URJ’s “Taste of Judaism” and “Introduction to Judaism” programs and is a member of the Needham Coalition for Suicide Prevention.
Before coming to the Boston area, Rabbi Perlman served at Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, MO. While there, he was awarded UJA Federation’s Rabbinic Award for outstanding community leadership. Rabbi Perlman was active in the development of innovative worship experiences, creative youth programming, and in working with the St. Louis Jewish deaf community. In addition, Rabbi Perlman was the founding Rabbinic Director of the Fleischer Jewish Healing Center of St. Louis.
Rabbi Perlman was ordained from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1996. While at HUC, he was the recipient of a number of academic awards, including his selection as a Steinhardt Scholar for his work in informal education.
Rabbi Perlman is originally from the Boston area. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Brandeis University, where he received his B.A. in both History and Near East and Judaic Studies. Rabbi Perlman has participated in numerous study opportunities in Israel, including programs at the Hartman Institute, the Conservative Yeshiva, the Pardes Institute, Hebrew University, and through the World Zionist Organization.
Rabbi Perlman has a passion for teaching, learning, building bridges, and sharing the beauty of our Jewish tradition. He joyfully shares his life with his wife, Emily, and their children Liana and Jonah.
Rabbi Julie Bressler
Rabbi Julie Bressler serves as the Assistant Rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom. She is thrilled to join this enthusiastic, committed, and caring community!
In May 2019, Rabbi Bressler earned her ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles and also received a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from HUC in 2017. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Rabbi Bressler grew up in the Reform movement as an active member of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, CA, a camper at URJ Camp Newman, and NFTY teen program participant. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Women and Gender Studies and American Culture Studies. Before attending rabbinical school, Rabbi Bressler worked as a youth and teen programming professional in St. Louis and the Bay Area.
As a rabbinic and education student, Rabbi Bressler served several communities throughout California – Congregation Shir Ami in Castro Valley, Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, and Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. She also spent four summers on senior staff at URJ Camp Newman and served as a Chaplain Intern at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In these capacities, Rabbi Bressler led services, officiated life cycle events, supervised teachers and staff, and developed curricula for family education and camp programs and trainings. Additionally, she guided HUC Los Angeles through a process of re-evaluating and re-visioning their sexual harassment policies and the gender-based experiences of students and staff.
Rabbi Bressler is a passionate teacher, community builder, and social justice advocate. She enjoys supporting others through their Jewish journeys, sharing the power of Jewish tradition, and asking and discussing big questions.